Archive for the ‘About WeeEssentials’ Category

Ya’ll Amaze Me – a Wee Essentials update

I’m amazed, guys.  I’ve been looking at my numbers.

I started Wee Essentials in June 2008 and made my first sale shortly after.  I am blessed to be able to say it’s been mostly uphill since then.

It hasn’t always been easy on either of us – my customers or me, though.

The summer my daughter was born, we were living without any air conditioning in 100+ degree weather (I don’t think I mentioned that here!)  At the same time, Wee Essentials was experiencing unprecedented growth that I couldn’t keep up with.  I did eventually figure it out, and the next summer, I hired Jess to help me out with the basic sewing tasks and soaping I do daily – cutting, pinning, cutting soap bits and packing them up.

That, in a nutshell, brings me up to today.  And I’ve been looking at my numbers.  I’d like to share some of them with you!

The last half of 2011, on Etsy, I had about 50 sales a month.  So far, 2012 has been a year of amazing growth, with 80 orders in January and 70 in February.  March is shaping up to be similar.  I just keep going back to those numbers and I’m stunned!  (In a good way, of course!)

This doesn’t include those of you who ordered off WeeEssentials.com, co-ops, directly from me, or from retailers across the US and Canada!  Wow!  THANK YOU!

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve been well prepared for this growth.  I’ve been getting orders out as fast as possible, but barely keeping up.  And I’m sorry for that.  You all have been very understanding, and I appreciate that so much.  These types of growth come with “growing pains” and we are definitely feeling that now – especially the week we realized we had 35 custom orders in the queue and ran out of 16 of my 31 scents of soap bits!

We are looking at a few different options, including hiring someone just to take care of the soap bits.  I am also looking into finding an office space to rent – maybe even a retail space!  I’m so excited for the future, but I want to be sure that we keep up with the present.  So you’ll find us in the studio for several hours this evening, after the kids are in bed. 😀

In the end, it comes down to this: I want to truly, deeply thank every single one of you for your business and your friendship.  YOU are what makes Wee Essentials successful!

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It’s aliiive!

I’ve decided to revive this blog.  After all, I need it for giveaways and such, right?  It’s been so crazy the past several months, and I feel like things are finally starting to find a rhythm that doesn’t feel like an erratic racing heart.  You don’t know what I mean, do you?  Oh, you do?  Okay.

Part of the reason I stopped writing posts was I simply didn’t have the energy to come up with posts that required thought and research.   So things might be more random around here, but definitely more fun, too. (If I do manage to keep posting!)   Just like Frankenstein, my blog is alive for now, but reinvented with lots of mismatched parts…

maybe?

So since I have many new subscribers, I’d like to reintroduce myself and my family.

I have three kids – two boys and a girl.  I own two cats and four very overfed goldfish.  We also own a drafty old farmhouse with no heat upstairs and a failing heat pump downstairs.  But I do love the house…when it’s warm outside…lol.  We are slowly renovating, and eventually the boys will move out of the parlor and Baby Girl will move out of our room and they will go upstairs into the three bedroom, one bath space that exists only in our dreams!  Guess who gets the parlor for her studio?  Whoot!

Anyway…

The little buggers:

Thing One

Thing One's first day of preschool

This is Thing One.  He’ll be five in a few months and I have no idea how that happened!   His favorite thing right now is Angry Birds, and given an iPod and two inattentive parents, he will play until he’s cranky and overstimulated.  But he mostly spends his time running around, fighting with his little brother, and loving on his baby sister, interjecting random and repeated requests for snack food, even when I tell him to go get it himself.

Chocolate Cupcake Sneak

Yum, chocolate cupcake for breakfast!

Don’t be fooled by the chocolate facial hair!  It’s not a grown man;  Thing Two is only…well, two.  Two and a third as I’m writing this.  And yes, he snuck out of bed and helped himself to a nice, big, gooey cupcake at 6:30 in the morning.  Thing Two is our handful – our “I-can’t -believe-he-just-did-that” kid.  He is fast and he is smart, so if you come over to my house, please don’t let him see you how to use the deadbolt, okay? It’s the only thing keeping him in.  Ezra is a twin, but we lost the other baby at 8 or 9 weeks (A friend pointed out to me that I need to mention this was 8 or 9 weeks into the pregnancy!) And I think that he may have twice the trouble in him as regular children to make up for it!


See the mischief?

He recently learned both how to strip as well as open the refrigerator doors.   This means there is very often a naked child in my fridge. He also seems to inherently know that if he can make a mess, he can get away with a lot while mommy focuses on cleaning it up!

I’m still waiting from a call from CPS about him.  What will trigger it?  The repeated run-ins (literally) with the dining room table?  The jumping-off-the-couch-and-landing-on-the-coffee-table black eyes?  Amazingly enough, we have never taken him to the emergency room because he’s hurt or bleeding (Thing One is another matter…)

Now, before I get nasty emails saying I don’t watch my kids well enough, I want you to know I do (watch him pull the stool over!…no!  Just kidding!)  But there are three of them and only one of me!  One of these days I will invent some kind of tracking system, but until then, there will always be one hiding in a corner with a snickers bar they stole from my purse while the other distracts me by vomiting on the couch.

Okay, moving on before those emails start rolling in…

Baby Girl

Jump! Jump! Jump!

If ever a child loved to jump, it’s Baby Girl.   This is one of the most recent pictures I have of her – from over a month ago.  My mom believes this is a form of grandparent abuse, since they live 15 hours away.

She’s already 7 months old, and she’s already a Diva.  Boy, does she know how to pull heartstrings with just the right cry. Her brothers love her and every morning come into our room to say “hi” to the baby by jumping on me until I’m semi-conscious saying “Where’s baby?” (Same place she was yesterday…and the day before that – IN HER CRIB!)

She loves to stick her fingers in facial orifices – particularly the nose, and to chew on electrical cords, which she can spot at thirty paces and roll furiously across the floor to gnaw.  (Go figure – the sparkly Christmas tree is untouched, but she has my iPod cord in her mouth…)

Well, then there’s me and hubby.  I am the owner of Wee Essentials, a reusable products company (oh, wow, I know that’s surprising!)  I get behind regularly (as some of you know) so I’m working with one seamstress and coercing talking to another to help out.  I’m also talking to someone about taking on administrative duties like shipping!  Exciting, right?  Well, okay, I am excited!  If I could sew all day, I would, but you all want your orders, so…

Hubby is a musician here in Nashville, which really means he works at a large computer company here for a living and moonlights.   (Nashville is hard, even for the talented!) We’ve been married since 2000 which means we’re an old married couple now, right?  He watches the kids while I work, and occasionally we spend time in the same room together.  Until then, we remind ourselves that in a few years, the kids will be taking care of us and we’ll be the ones hanging out together while they spoon-feed us and wipe our tushies!

Why I’m an Environmentalist

This is a blog post that has been long in coming.  I’ve been thinking about my motivation for what I do for several months, and composing this post in my head over and over, hoping that when I finally write it down, I get it right.  Even now as I hit “publish” on this post, I’ve been working on writing it for over a week.

You have to understand that my reasons for being concerned about the environment are not the traditional ones.  I feel like I come from a fairly unique perspective because I neither consider myself a liberal or a democrat.  I also realize that this post may offend some people because of the nature of what I am about to say.  It is certainly a controversial topic, but I am not trying to convert anyone.  I am only explaining why I do what I do when it comes to trying to be “green.”

So…why am I an environmentalist?

As I said, I don’t consider myself a democrat or a liberal, which are both generally affiliated with the environmental movement.  I tend to fall in between the cracks, really – I don’t like either major political party, and I don’t like the policies of both the liberals and the conservatives.  I guess I like to make my own way!

I do define myself by the fact that I am a follower of Jesus Christ, however.

Wait!  Come back! 🙂

I realize that is an immediate turn-off for some people.  I realize there are readers who have already closed their browser window without hearing me out.  They’ve made assumptions about what I’m about to say or do. Tat’s a dangerous thing, whether you’ve made them about a Christian, a Muslim, a Scientologist, or even an Atheist.  There are also those who will stir up controversy in comments and emails.  And it will be about my “religion,” rather than my desire to take care of the planet on which I was born.

But enough about that – that’s not my point.  For those of you left, you might be wondering how I could be a Christian – a “born-again” Christian (oh, how I hate that term and its stereotypes!) and still believe strongly in the Earth movement. Especially since I am a bit of a traditionalist and I do believe in creation in seven literal days and the End Times (no, this is not it) and all those things that usually go against Global Warming Theory at its core.

So let me explain.  This is going to sound a little like a Bible lesson, and I guess it is, but I need to put my thoughts in context for you, my readers:

When God created the world, according to the Bible,  he created the first man shortly after.  He put this man, and eventually his wife, in charge of the Garden of Eden.  The first book of the Bible, Genesis, is the story of creation and the early days of Judaica, and Genesis 2: 15 says, “God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”  Just a few verses later, God has Adam (“man” in Hebrew) name all the animals.

But let’s go back a little bit, because I want to point out one more verse before I get to my point.  Genesis 1:26 talks about God creating man, and God says in this section, “Let [man] have dominion over…all the earth…”

I’ve seen this verse taken out of context quite a bit, used as an example of God allowing the destruction and rape of the earth.  That word – “dominion” – is a scary word.  But it’s not as bad as you think!  Merriam-Webster defines dominion as “supreme authority” and “absolute ownership.”  If the authority is not corrupt, what is there to fear in that?  We have seen good rulers and bad rulers throughout history – all had dominion over their territory.

Think about that argument for the destruction and rape of the planet for a second – does that make sense?  First of all, a few verses later, God instructs man to tend the earth and care for it – a direct contradiction if “dominion” is another word for “destroy.”  Second, does it make sense that someone who just created something, in this case the earth, would immediately put someone on it and allow them to destroy it?

No, I have to conclude that it is our responsibility to care for the earth – to “work it and keep it,” as Adam was told to do in Eden.  God placed Adam on the earth to do just that, and that responsibility has been placed on us as his descendants.

So enough of the Bible lesson. Now you understand (hopefully) where I’m coming from.  Do I believe in global warming?  Yes, actually, I do.  There is enough evidence that the earth cycles through different temperatures throughout time.  Do I believe that this episode of global warming is entirely man-made?  No.  I haven’t seen enough evidence proving this.  Do I believe that our actions have an effect on this episode of warming?  Absolutely. Our actions have consequences on every level, in every scale.

So what do I think we should do?

We should respect our fellow humans – both current and future – by being responsible and resourceful in our use of non-renewable materials.  We should continue to find sustainable ways of life, so that our great-grandchildren don’t suffer when we run out of materials but have no new technology.

We should respect those fellow humans by avoiding waste and taking responsibility for ourselves – through gardening and raising our own food to reduce pressure on the food systems, by buying from companies that treat their employees with respect, by not using companies that have their profit margin in mind more than their effect on the environment and small local economies.

For me – it comes down to respecting and taking care of each other and taking care of the world we’ve been given.  I may be coming from a distinctly different viewpoint than most environmentalists I know, but our goals are the same!

Anyone still here?

LOL

Long Time No See!

It feels like it’s been a really long time since I got on my wordpress interface to write a post.  November 7th was the last time, and I suppose it has been a long time!   The 18th we moved to Nashville, but we couldn’t actually move in until December 1st, which was an interesting turn of events.  But we are in, the moving truck is unloaded, and we are slowly unpacking.  I believe that the time it takes to unpack lengthens exponentially with each child involved.

Needless to say, I do not plan on moving soon!

My new studio is basically the large hallway in the house, which is very different from having the large upstairs loft in the past house!  It works, though, even if it’s rather tight, and come summer, we’ll start working on making the upstairs liveable.  That will add two more bedrooms and a loft to the house, and eventually a third bathroom.  Then we’ll spread out!
In the meantime, I’ve been busy!  I’ve introduced new cloth pad starter sets to my shop, so go check them out.  Ah, forget it!  Here are some pictures (and it looks like I’ve sold a set):

Mushrooms Cloth Pad Starter Set

Mushrooms Cloth Pad Starter Set

Birch Blossoms Designer Cloth Pad Starter Set

Birch Blossoms Designer Cloth Pad Starter Set

I promise some pictures of the repairs we’ve made when the house is cleaner!

Doctor’s Appointment Today

I went to  the doctor (actually, an occupational therapist) today and found out that it will probably require surgery to fix my left hand – she wasn’t completely sure what was wrong, but gave me the number of a hand surgeon who could take x-rays and an MRI.

I’ve had a tendon on my left ring finger that seems to catch when I try to close my hand completely.  It catches and then pops shut when I force it – almost like trigger finger in reverse.  The pinky and ring fingers are also weaker than the same on my other hand.  It’s recently started to be slightly painful, and while bearable, I don’t want it to get worse without medical advice.  But I’ll be waiting on calling the surgeon until we have better insurance!  Until then, I’ve been given two giant gobs of what appears to be Silly Putty ™ to work with my hand to try to strengthen it.
Praise God that it’s on my left hand, and I’m right handed.  I’ve had this problem for years -maybe since birth – but always regarded it as a pecularity all my own. So it could be a lot worse! I’m also extremely double jointed and I wonder if that has anything to do with it.
I’ve googled with no luck.  Has anyone heard of anything like this before?

Welcome!

You may have found this blog from my etsy shop, and part of this blog’s purpose is to promote the new items I’ve listed.  I will also be posting tips I find that help us live a more sustainable, more thoughtful, and above all, a simpler life.  I really feel that life has gotten too complicated, and more than anything, I think that materialism and materialistic attitudes clog our lives with unnecessary clutter.

…My life, this blog, and my etsy shop all have one thing in common – they are about the search for beauty in simplicity, and living a thoughtful life.  Being “green,” as is so popular now in Hollywood, is not about replacing all your ceramic floors with bamboo.  It’s about living with what you have, making responsible choices while considering the effect of your choice, and choosing products that can be reused, renewed, or recycled.

Read more about my philosophy and why I do what I do here.  We’ll keep the sticky post short and sweet!

Welcome!

You may have found this blog from my etsy shop, and part of this blog’s purpose is to promote the new items I’ve listed.  I will also be posting tips I find that help us live a more sustainable, more thoughtful, and above all, a simpler life.  I really feel that life has gotten too complicated, and more than anything, I think that materialism and materialistic attitudes clog our lives with unnecessary clutter.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not living in a shack with no electricity or heat, two sets of clothing, and a few chickens!  I dream my home will one day grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine with perfect floral arrangements and matching dishes in the see-through cupboards.  I love clothes – and buy clothes that are way too trendy to last the year whenever I get the chance.  (Ironic, because ultimately I’d much rather wear jeans and a t-shirt.)  And I find that at least twice a year I can go through my house and collect enough unused stuff for a nice-sized garage sale!

But I want to get past that.  I want to get to the place where I’m not spending money to buy something I don’t use that I will eventually toss out or give away without even using it.  I want to buy things that I love, things that I will use until they fall apart – and then I will fix them and use them some more.  And I want to buy things that I can put in the compost pile, the recycling bin, or even reuse for a different task rather than hauling it to the curb in a big green bin every Friday.  I don’t want to have to think hard to find a place for something.  I want there to be room on my shelves!

So what does that have to do with Wee Essentials?  My life, this blog, and my etsy shop all have one thing in common – they are about the search for beauty in simplicity, and living a thoughtful life.  Being “green,” as is so popular now in Hollywood, is not about replacing all your ceramic floors with bamboo.  It’s about living with what you have, making responsible choices while considering the effect of your choice, and choosing products that can be reused, renewed, or recycled.

And that’s where Wee Essentials comes in – many of my products are reusable household goods – things that will replace paper or plastic products – items like cloth baby wipes and wipe solution cubes, unpaper towels and napkins, waterproof bags for wet items (instead of using Walmart grocery bags!) and cloth menstrual pads.  And of course I have fun things, too, like stitch markers for your knitting or crochet projects, hats and blankets, kids’ toys, and whatever else comes to mind when I’m feeling creative!

So if you have something to add or if you just want to stay up to date with what’s new at Wee Essentials, please subscribe to my blog and comment!

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